Yeti Rambler vs. ORCA Chaser

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The Yeti Rambler vs the ORCA Chaser

In the current market, you can take advantage of any number of high-end, trendy drink-ware at your disposal. Whether you think it’s a fad or not, there are some compelling arguments for investing a little more cash in order to keep your drinks cold all day, or hot for an extended period of time. Read on to see Midsouth’s Mellissa compare the ORCA Chaser 27 oz tumbler, versus the YETI Rambler 20 oz. tumbler. Granted, there’s are size difference here, but for the cost (difference of $5) and availability (the Rambler 30 oz. wasn’t available yet), it’s the most direct comparison we could come up with at the time. We plan to retest soon with the entire line of ORCA and Yeti Products. Just to reiterate, WE KNOW THESE ARE DIFFERENT SIZES! We’ve seen the comments, and read the emails.

How does the Orca Chaser stand up to the Yeti Rambler, Tervis Tumbler, and regular Travel Coffee Mugs?

We just received our Orca Chaser travel mug and decided to compare it to the Yeti Rambler and regular travel coffee mugs. Each mug will go through two 24 hour tests. One full day with a cold beverage and one full day with a hot beverage. For the cold beverage test we will fill up each mug to the brim with ice and then pour water to fill the mug all the way. We will let them sit for the full 24 hours checking at 3, 19, and 24 hours. For the second test we will fill each mug with hot coffee and repeat the process of the cold beverage.

Pictured are the Yeti Rambler, Orca Chaser, Tervis Tumbler, Stanley Mug, and other promotional drink holders
Pictured are the Yeti Rambler, Orca Chaser, Tervis Tumbler, Stanley Mug, and other promotional drink holders

Travel Mug Competitors-
Here is What Yeti and Orca Say
About Their Mugs:

Yeti Rambler
– “Don’t you hate it when your favorite beverage loses its frosty (or piping hot) goodness before you have a chance to fully enjoy it? We sure do, and that’s why we over-engineered our Rambler Tumblers with kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel and double-wall vacuum insulation. The result is a tough, hard-wearing personal drink cooler that maintains ice twice as long as plastic tumblers – and it works just as well for hot beverages. The lid that keeps your liquid in its place is easy to clean, shatterproof and crystal clear so you know exactly how much of your drink you still have to look forward to. Dishwasher safe. Size: 20oz and 30oz ”

Orca Chaser
– “Tired of watered down drinks? Can’t get from home to work without your coffee getting cold? The ORCA Chaser can fix that. In today’s world everyone is on the move. Whether you are going to work, the ball field, a tailgate, into the woods, down the dock, or to a party, the ORCA Chaser believes in getting you there with an ice-cold (or piping hot) liquid. The ORCA Chaser’s stainless steel double walled vacuum sealed body ensures that your ice will stay frozen and your drink will stay strong, while its clear lid makes it easy to see when it’s time for a refill.”
18/8 stainless steel double vacuum sealed body. Not dishwasher safe. Triton polymer clear lid and SIZE: 7″ height 27 fluid ounce capacity.

Other Travel Mugs Used In Comparison
– Here are the other mugs we used in the test. We won’t go into great detail about these but, if you want more info feel free to look it up. Insulated plastic and stainless steel: Tervis Tumbler, Stanley, Cool Gear, and Delton promo mug.

Facts and Comparison:

Honest Two Cents About The Yeti
– Our catalog guy borrowed his wife’s 20oz Yeti Rambler for the test. He had this to say in conclusion about the test:

“My wife loves that Rambler, so much so that she’s bought several as gifts for friends. She makes sure to let me know just about every morning that it Still Has Ice in it after however many hours it has been sitting there. She prefers the size of the 20oz Yeti over the Orca 27oz Chaser and the Yeti 30oz Rambler, and I can understand that. My thought is that the Orca is every bit as good as the Yeti and vice-versa. The Orca just fills a size in between the 2 Yetis.
From looking at the test results, I think the fact that the Orca held temperatures longer was only because of the volume. Had we have filled a Yeti 30oz Rambler and tested it, it probably would have won. My son has a Yeti also and loves it for coffee. The only complaint I’ve heard from the Rambler is the fact that the lid does not have a closable slot. This is the same for the Chaser and isn’t a deal breaker to me. The lids seal tight and won’t leak down the side, that’s what matters to me. The Yeti Rambler is a great product, and even though we don’t sell Yeti, I would still recommend it. As for me, I’m getting an Orca.”

Check out the video below:

Conclusion
– The Orca Chaser 27oz and Yeti Rambler 20oz were neck and neck, but by the end of our test, the Orca Chaser came out on top in both the hot and cold tests.
We all agree, it was hard to compare apples to apples with the sizes being different, but they are both really impressive beverage holders.

Hot and Cold liquid comparison chart
Hot and Cold liquid comparison chart


Currently, we only sell Orca products.The Yeti Rambler can be found at just about any sporting retailer or outdoor store in America. But, the Orca can be found right here- If you’d like more info or would like to try one for yourself click this link.

As new products begin to show up from ORCA, we plan to put each one through the ringer, making sure that you’re not just buying the hype, but a quality product, at a reasonable price. So far, we’re sold on ORCA, and excited to see the new offerings arrive this spring.

Do you have an ORCA or a YETI drink holder, or cooler? What’s your thoughts on their function vs. price? Hit the comments to give us your thoughts.

 

Top 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Reload

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In this age of instant gratification, why would anyone want to spend hours-on-end sitting in a room, at a bench, yanking a handle, and creating ammunition you’re just going to go through in a day? Well, here are 5 reasons you should leave the bench behind!

1. It’s So Time Consuming!

clock flush
In Australia, it spins in the opposite direction.

If you’re like us, then you dedicate your day to the hustle and bustle of life. Get up, drink black coffee, milk cows, feed the chickens, slop the hogs, then it’s straight outside to deal with the animals. After that, you’re off to work in the salt mines for about 10 hours. Now you’re in traffic, listening to Rush wax poetic about how the world is in good order, and we’re all excited for President Clinton, Part Deux, to climb capitol hill. Next, it’s back home to wash, rinse, and repeat. So our question is: Why on earth would you want to sit by yourself, away from all distractions, around what could be potentially soothing repetitive motions? You might want to put on a little classical music, or you might just want to listen to the gentle hush of the powder measure/scale you saved up for, as it sprinkles that last little bit of Varget you ordered from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Who’d want to do that, right?

2. It’s Dangerous!

Danger Sign
You can’t spell Danger without anger, and the letter D.

You’d better be on your game, or you will explode. It can’t be any more simple than that. You’re creating a tiny explosive, and you’re putting the entire neighborhood at risk with your…wait…you’re in an enclosed area, away from all distractions, and you’re paying close attention to every detail of every aspect of what you’re doing? Well, carry on then, but we’re watching you…always watching…

3. Zen is a Weird Word!

Zen Master
The socks were an interesting choice.

Why would you want to incorporate your body and mind in a meditative, contemplative, and intuitive state? Peaceful seems awfully dull. It also sounds like hippy-nonsense. We’ve heard of folks finding peace at the reloading bench. They’ve obviously never tried to ream the primer pocket of 1000 Lake City .223 Rem cases by hand, have they? Please see #1 of this article.

4. Is it Worth It?

Dollar signs
It’s not the size of your wallet, it’s how you use it.

Who likes to actually save money? Who really appreciates the feeling of accomplishment one feels after creating their own ammunition? Do you ever get any piece of mind after finishing a job yourself, and knowing it was done correctly, efficiently, and effectively? Will this entire section be in question form? Maybe?

5. Accuracy is Highly Overrated!

sub MOA grouping
Nice shooting, Shorty. We’re actually being serious here.

Hitting a target from several hundred yards away in the same spot repeatedly is a waste of a target. People make those pieces of paper to be used. The feeling you get when you fire 5 rounds sub MOA isn’t THAT great. Plus you spent all that time fine-tuning your specific load, for your favorite gun, only to achieve what some would call “close to perfection.” Then you try even harder, succeed, feel all this self worth, and your ego grows, and your wife finds you more attractive, your friends think you’re cool, and your drink at the end of the day tastes colder and more refreshing, all because you dominated the range today. See, that sounds exhausting.

So, there you have it. 5 great reasons to turn your reloading room into a sewing room, and your reloading bench into a lovely gift wrapping station. If you’re looking to purchase a new sense of humor, please visit Midsouth Shooters Supply where they are on sale every APRIL FOOLS DAY!

In the comments below, please feel free to brag about how awesome your reloading bench really is. Show off your latest accomplishment at the range. Brag about how good you are at this wonderful thing called reloading. We appreciate it, and we appreciate you!

 

At the Range with Springfield Armory’s SOCOM 16

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By Robert A Sadowski

Prior to the 2016 SHOT Show, I was shipped Springfield Armory’s SOCOM 16 Model AA9611PK rifle. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll admit that I am a fan of the M1A platform. My only complaints are the fixed stock and heavy weight. The new AA9611PK not only addresses these issues, it does it in a way we modern shooters expect. We expect to be able to customize our rifles with aftermarket parts. We expect a variety of sight and optic choices. We expect a lot, and the new SOCOM 16 delivers.

The Springfield Armory SOCOM 16 Model AA9611PK is a semiautomatic long-stroke piston design. It had a 16.25-inch barrel with 1:11-inch twist. Overall, it measured 35.5 to 38.5 inches in length and weighed 9.3 pounds empty.
The Springfield Armory SOCOM 16 Model AA9611PK is a semiautomatic long-stroke piston design. It had a
16.25-inch barrel with 1:11-inch twist. Overall, it measured 35.5 to 38.5 inches in length and weighed 9.3 pounds empty.

Old-school M14 dudes might wince at the non-traditional pistol-grip stock. It is an Archangel chassis that not only trims the weight of the SOCOM, it also trims the overall length. The exterior is flat-black polymer. At the shoulder end is a five-position adjustable CQB buttstock. Part of the issue with the M1A was the fixed stock.

For some shooters kitted up with gear or wearing heavy clothing, the rifle was difficult to fire comfortably. The adjustable stock not only alleviates that situation, it also fits the rifle to a variety of shooter statures. It also features a rubber buttpad and a cheek riser. The cheek riser helps get a solid cheekweld on the stock, which is important for long-range shooting, and you will soon see what the platform is capable of out to 100 yards.

If you want to swap out the stock, you can choose any other aftermarket AR stock. The rear of the chassis is built like a buffer tube. There is no denying that the pistol grip is atypical, and no doubt it is comfortable to shoot. The Archangel pistol grip flares out at the bottom and is serrated on the front and rear straps for plenty of hold when the SOCOM starts barking. It also has a storage compartment for batteries and small tools.

The perforated muzzlebrake helps reduce muzzle rise and keep you focused on the target when shooting fast.
The perforated muzzlebrake helps reduce muzzle rise and keep you focused on the target when shooting fast.

The stock will take any aftermarket AK grip—another plus for shooters who like to customize their gear. The stock has three Picatinny rails attached, two three-slot rails on either side of the forend and one seven-slot on the bottom. Want to add vertical grips, a tactical light, or laser? The new SOCOM can. The magazine well is also a gaping mouth ready to suck in magazines. It ships with a 10-round magazine but is compatible with five- and 20-round mags.

The iron sights on the SOCOM 16 have always been top-notch, adjustable, enlarged military aperture with front tritium. It has a forward rail to mount a magnified, long-eye-relief, scout-style scope. This SOCOM 16 also has a Vortex Venom red dot reflex sight that uses a Springfield Armory clip guide mount, which places the red dot at the perfect height and distance while not interfering when the rotary bolt ejects empty brass. At 25 yards offhand, the red dot was fast and accurate. The perforated muzzlebrake tamed the recoil and muzzle rise. I easily smashed a few magazines of clay pigeons like I had been shooting the rifle for years. Distance, though, is the key.

The five-position stock means the SOCOM 16 can be adjusted to fit your stature and the gear or clothing you are wearing.
The five-position stock means the SOCOM 16 can be adjusted to fit your stature and the gear or clothing you are wearing.

With an assortment of .308 Winchester cartridges—Hornady Steel Match 155-grain BTHP, Black Hills Gold 168-grain A-MAX and Hornady Match 178-grain BTHP—I put the SOCOM 16 through its paces using a rest. Though aiming a red dot at 100 yards is not exactly precision shooting, at 50 yards and under the 3-MOA dot offers fast, accurate shooting. At 100 yards, the dot is large. I assumed at 100 yards I’d experience different results. The 3 MOA placed on an 8-inch target provided a nice sight picture, a red center with a black donut outside edge.

The Hornady Steel Match 155-grain BTHPs delivered 2,400 fps and shot 1.5-inch groups (three shots) at 100 yards. Black Hills Gold 168-grain A-MAX rounds produced 2,440 fps and 2.25-inch average groups at 100 yards. Hornady Match 178-grain BTHPs hit 2,390 fps at the muzzle and shot 2.5-inch average groups at the test distance.

With the rifle adjusted to me, it all came down to trigger work. The SOCOM 16 has a two-stage military trigger. After taking up the light first stage, the second stage proved to be nice with about a 5½-pound pull weight. The rifle was comfortable to shoot. Nice.

The new SOCOM 16 offers an out-of-the-box rifle ready for defense work or hunting. I can’t think of a better round and setup for feral pigs, deer, or black bears. The adjustable stock means it’s easier and more convenient to take in and out of a vehicle and store. The sight package is a nice setup. The SOCOM 16 adapts to how you want to shoot and the situation you are in and does it with a level of modularity and customization not seen previously in the M1A platform.

Robert Sadowski has written about firearms and hunting for nearly 15 years. He is the author of four gun books, editor of three others and is a contributor to numerous gun-enthusiast magazines, including Combat Handguns, Black Guns, Tactical Weapons for Military and Police, Gun Tests, Personal and Home Defense, Gun Hunter, SHOT Business, and others. He has a personal affinity for large-caliber revolvers and the AR platform.

Federal American Eagle Introduces Varmint & Predator Ammunition Bulk Packs

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Federal Ammunition is releasing new American Eagle Varmint & Predator loads, offered in 40- or 50-count bulk packs. Shipments of this new product are now being delivered to dealers. Click here to see our selection of American Eagle loads and to check when these new loads might be in stock.

New American Eagle Varmint & Predator loads feature reloadable brass and Federal primers with a jacketed hollow point or Tipped Varmint bullet, depending on caliber. Both designs expand explosively on impact for maximum lethality.

Here are the product numbers for the new offerings and MSRPs for the loads.

AE17HGTV / 17 Hornet 20-grain Tipped Varmint, 50-count / $52.95

AE22HGTV / 22 Hornet 20-grain Tipped Varmint, 50-count / $52.95

AE22350VP / 223 Rem. 50-grain JHP, 50-count / $33.95

AE2225050VP / 22-250 Rem. 50-grain JHP, 50-count / $52.95

AE24375VP / 243 Win. 75-grain JHP, 40-count / $46.95

AE308130VP / 308 Win. 130-grain JHP 40-count / $52.95

This is one of the new bulk-packed American Eagle varmint and predator loads, a 22-250 Rem. 50-grain JHP, now available in a box of 50 rounds.
This is one of the new bulk-packed American Eagle varmint and predator loads, a 22-250 Rem. 50-grain JHP, now available in a box of 50 rounds.

Two Essential AR-15 Case Preps

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This is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Handloading For Competition,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order from Midsouth.

by Glen Zediker

Maybe the headline above oversells two case preps I routinely perform, but if they aren’t “essential,” let’s at the least say they are “worthwhile.” I don’t like telling folks to endure more tedium than is necessary. Time is not only money: It’s also shooting, relaxation, family, and on down the list of activities that substitute for removing miniscule amounts of brass from cartridge cases.

The 3-pronged anvil is supposed to compress; if the pocket isn’t flat, it won’t do so correctly.
The 3-pronged anvil is supposed to compress; if the pocket isn’t flat, it won’t do so correctly.
Inside flash hole deburring: Just do it. It’s too easy not to.
Inside flash hole deburring: Just do it. It’s too easy not to.
This is a round that got placed into the chamber and then the bolt carrier released (how we load the “Slow-Fire” rounds in competition). The firing pin tapped off the primer and left a nice dimple. A primer sitting too high can more easily pop under this sort of abuse.
This is a round that got placed into the chamber and then the bolt carrier released (how we load the “Slow-Fire” rounds in competition). The firing pin tapped off the primer and left a nice dimple. A primer sitting too high can more easily pop under this sort of abuse.
Check each and every round you load to ensure that the primer is below flush with the case head. Just run a finger over it (use your own for reasons I can’t approach here). Uniforming pockets goes a long way to ensure correct, full seating, and is especially important if priming is done using a mechanism that precludes feedback, like a progressive reloading machine.
Check each and every round you load to ensure that the primer is below flush with the case head. Just run a finger over it (use your own for reasons I can’t approach here). Uniforming pockets goes a long way to ensure correct, full seating, and is especially important if priming is done using a mechanism that precludes feedback, like a progressive reloading machine.
I can always see a difference in the anvil prints on cases that have uniformed pockets and those that don’t. Telling…
I can always see a difference in the anvil prints on cases that have uniformed pockets and those that don’t. Telling…
There are a variety of primer pocket uniformers. The author prefers those that can chuck into an electric drill as well as also mount in a screwdriver-style handle. Way less tedious. Run it no more than 1100 rpm. The author doesn’t like doing this job by hand, so he uses an adjustable-depth tool. It’s safer to get a fixed-depth unless you have the sort of measuring device necessary to do an accurate job of setting the tool.
There are a variety of primer pocket uniformers. The author prefers those that can chuck into an electric drill as well as also mount in a screwdriver-style handle. Way less tedious. Run it no more than 1100 rpm. The author doesn’t like doing this job by hand, so he uses an adjustable-depth tool. It’s safer to get a fixed-depth unless you have the sort of measuring device necessary to do an accurate job of setting the tool.

However, for reasons I’ll hit upon, a couple of actions on the bench make things better, and one makes things safer. The first is a primer-pocket uniforming tool; the other is an inside-flash-hole deburring tool.

The tasks these tools perform only need to be taken once.

When a domestically-produced cartridge case is made, the primer pocket and the flash hole are formed, not cut. The primer pocket is done with a swaging process, and the flash hole is punched. The primer pocket and headstamp are normally produced at the same time with a punch called a “bunter.” I also call it a “blunter” because that’s the result: cross section a case and you’ll see that the bottom of the primer pocket is not square; it looks a little like a cereal bowl. The flash hole is normally punched separately.

A well-designed primer pocket-uniformer’s job, in my view, is mostly to put a 90-degree corner on the pocket bottom, so the bottom is flat. Primers are flat, coincidentally. And this is why it should be done. A uniformer also cuts the pockets to the same depth, which is also within the correct depth range; or, at the least and depending on the combination of the primer pocket and the tool itself, ensures that a minimum depth has been created. That’s between 0.118-0.122 inches for Small Rifle primers.

Now, there are differences among manufacturers in primer-cup heights. They’re small, but tend to be consistent brand-to-brand. A uniformed primer pocket pretty much eliminates the chance of a shallowish primer pocket combining with a tallish primer to create a primer that’s not seated beyond flush with the case bottom.

And all primers should be seated below flush! The actual amount advised or warranted varies with the source, but I give it a minimum of 0.006 inches.

So, after uniforming a primer pocket, the primer should be sitting “flat” on the pocket bottom (more in a bit); ultimately, this means all primers in all cases are seated fully. Measurement of the amount below flush with the case bottom doesn’t really matter; just that the primers are seated fully.

The reason I said “more in a bit” is because primers have an anvil. It’s the three-pronged sort of spring-looking piece on the bottom of a primer. (“Top” or “bottom” is a matter of perspective…) When a primer is seated, the anvil feet compress. Using a hand-held seating tool, you can feel it. They are supposed to compress and be sitting equally on the primer pocket bottom.

There are two reasons this is essential. One is a matter of performance. If the primer is not seated flush against the pocket bottom, then some force from the firing pin or striker is redirected toward fully seating the primer. It’s a softer hit, in effect. This leads to inconsistent ignition, and, to a smaller degree only worried about by the fastidious, differing initial vibration nodes.

The other reason I say this is essential for AR-15 ammo (or for any ammo destined for use in a rifle with a floating firing pin) is assurance against a “slam fire.” Out-of-battery discharge. Ugly. When the bolt carrier sends the cartridge home into the chamber, the inertia can cause the firing pin to continue forward and “tap” off the primer. It’s not supposed to happen, but it dang sure does. The mechanism intended to prevent this is faulty. A primer that’s sitting a little high gets tapped harder, and if it gets tapped hard enough: BLAM. It’s more of a problem with M1As, but I have seen them in ARs, more than once.

Inside-flash-hole deburring is too easy. Of course, you’ll need a tool, and there are several that all work well. When the flash hole is punched, there’s a burr turned up on the inside of the case. These vary in height and scope, but without a doubt interfere with ignition. It’s also possible that a die decapping pin can fold one such that it obscures the hole. Just get it gone. Takes virtually no effort.

It makes a noticeable difference on target, especially in small-capacity, small-diameter cases, like .223 Rem. Reason is clear: the flash from the primer enters consistently and therefore spreads consistently to get the propellant burning. A tall, narrow column of medium-burning propellant is a tougher chore to ignite, or that’s what I think.

The Gutless Method

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We saw this on YouTube was intrigued enough by it to share with our fellow Midsouth shooters, even if it is out of season. Really, there’s no closed season on learning better ways to skin a cat, or in this case, a deer. The video is by Randy Newberg.

This video shows you how to break down an animal, in this case a deer, and convert it to manageable pieces you can haul out on your back. The “gutless method” is the most efficient manner to get all useable meat off the carcass.

It’s easy to see why a gutless method of field-dressing a deer or elk is becoming more popular, in part because keeps the cape and head in good shape for trophy mounting.

Do you use this technique?

The Thompson ‘Chicago Typewriter’ Turns 100

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John T. Thompson first began researching a portable hand-held automatic weapon in 1915, with the firearm later being known as the “Chicago Typewriter” because of its staccato sounds of report. Now, Auto Ordnance is producing a commemorative 100th Anniversary matched set edition of the Thompson 1927A-1 rifle and matching 1911A1 pistol.

Auto Ordnance is offering a commemorative 100th Anniversary matched set edition of the Thompson 1927A-1 rifle and matching 1911A1 pistol.
Auto Ordnance is offering a commemorative 100th Anniversary matched set edition of the Thompson 1927A-1 rifle and matching 1911A1 pistol.

“We are proud to honor the name and the legacy of General John T. Thompson with this special 100th Anniversary matched set,” said Frank Harris, VP of Sales and Marketing, Kahr Firearms Group. “There is a rich historical past attached to the Tommy Gun, and we feel General Thompson would be proud to see that what started as a research project in 1915 has served the military, law enforcement and shooting enthusiasts around the world so prominently for over 100 years.”

The limited edition Thompson 1927A-1 Deluxe Carbine is offered in .45 ACP and comes with one 20-round stick magazine. It features a 16.5-inch finned barrel (18 inches with compensator) and is prominently engraved with the classic Thompson logo, limited edition numbers, and displays the words “100th Anniversary” on the matte-black steel frame. The gun weighs 13 pounds and has an overall length of 41 inches. Other features include a pinned-in front blade and an open rear adjustable sight. The stock is fixed, has a vertical foregrip, and is made from American Walnut.

As a matched set, the limited edition series also comes with the Thompson 1911A1 GI Specs pistol likewise chambered in .45 ACP, with a 5-inch barrel and a matte-black steel frame. Overall length is 8.5 inches, and it weighs just 39 oz. The low-profile front and rear iron sights are set in dovetail cuts. The pistol is shipped with one 7-round magazine. Just like the Thompson 1927A-1, it too is engraved with the iconic Thompson logo, the words 100th Anniversary, and lists the limited edition numbers on the frame. Both guns must be purchased as a set and the MSRP is $1,971. The guns are shipped together in a polymer hard case with the yellow Thompson Bullet logo and the words “Chicago Typewriter” in white stamped on the black case cover.

The story behind the guns: John T. Thompson was born in Newport, Kentucky on December 31, 1860. His father, a graduate of West Point, served as Lt. Colonel during the civil war and, John, following in his father’s footsteps, also graduated from West Point and served in the Army. It was while he was in the Army that Thompson went to engineering and artillery schools and began researching small arms. He was later assigned to the Army Ordnance Department in 1890 as a 2nd Lieutenant and was responsible for arming and dispersing of weapons during the Spanish-American war.

During WWI, before the U.S. became involved, Thompson saw the need to assist the allies with better artillery, so he retired from the Army to develop a fully automatic weapon. By 1916, while employed as chief engineer at Remington Arms, he created a gun that could be used to clear enemy trenches, nicknamed the “Trench Broom” and this was the beginning of the Thompson submachine gun.

When the U.S. entered WWI in 1917, Thompson re-enlisted into the Army and was promoted to brigadier general. Once the war was over, Thompson continued to perfect the Tommy Gun, and by 1920 it was patented.

Once the war was over, there was little demand for military arms, so Thompson began marketing the Tommy Gun to law-enforcement agencies and also to the general public. Historically, it also became infamous as the weapon of choice for gangsters, including John Dillinger, Al Capone, and Baby Face Nelson.

Thompson died in 1940 at age 79 and was honored with a burial on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point. Less than two years after his death, WWII broke out and the U.S. Army ordered significant quantities of the Thompson submachine guns.

Load ’em right: Q&A with Rob Behr of Western Powders–Part 1 by Robert F. Kay

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This article comes from author Robert F. Kay, editor at On Target Hawaii, and author of the book, “How to Buy an AK-47.” Robert recently had the opportunity to have a Q&A session with Rob Behr of Western Powders. Please enjoy Part 1 below. You can also purchase Robert F. Kay’s book HERE.

Check out the Smokeless Powder Inventory at Midsouth Shooters by clicking here!

Editor’s Note:  I had the opportunity to meet Rob Behr of Western Powders recently at the SHOT Show—a mammoth firearms industry trade confab held annually in Las Vegas. Western was there promoting its lines of handgun, shotgun and rifle powders. Western is not a big company compared to its competitors but think of them as the little engine that could. They have excellent products and a truly informative website with an online loading guide, a great blog and information on loads for popular firearms as well as some of the more esoteric ones.

I don’t have a lot of personal experience with their rifle powders but their products come highly recommended by some very knowledgeable folks here in Hawaii. However I have used at least one of their handgun powders, Accurate #5, in my S&W model 27 (.357 magnum) and loved it. (So let me brag a little bit. By using #5 I was able to work up a load accurate enough to knock down 12” plates at distances of over 100 yards).

Rob, who handles marketing (among other duties) for Western, is a very knowledgeable hand loader. In addition to managing the website, he writes the “Dear Labby” advice column for the company’s online magazine. Despite Rob’s self-deprecating manner, you’d be hard pressed to find a better authority on hand loading. I had a chance to interview him recently about the company and got some valuable tips on reloading to boot.  This is the first of a two-part  series.

Continue reading Load ’em right: Q&A with Rob Behr of Western Powders–Part 1 by Robert F. Kay

Five Steps for Preparing New Brass

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These are brand-new high-dollar Lapua cases, which the author points out are a tad amount deformed about the case mouths. Most new cases will show this sort of irregularity. Just run them through your sizing die. It’s not so much establishing the neck size (although that’s wise also), but just rounding them out to accept a bullet. Also, lube new cases just like normal; even though they’re smaller than they will be after the first firing, they’re not that small.
These are brand-new high-dollar Lapua cases, which the author points out are a tad amount deformed about the case mouths. Most new cases will show this sort of irregularity. Just run them through your sizing die. It’s not so much establishing the neck size (although that’s wise also), but just rounding them out to accept a bullet. Also, lube new cases just like normal; even though they’re smaller than they will be after the first firing, they’re not that small.

For the handloader, it’s a great feeling to pop the flaps open on a new box of cases. New, shiny cases are a treat. However, new cases are not ready to load out of the box, and a look over them shows why — most will have noticeably dinged and dented case mouths. Here are a few tips on getting new brass ready to load:

Check Them All for Flash Holes

An easy flaw to watch for is a case without a flash hole. This is rare indeed, but I’ve seen one, and a few of my high-volume pistol-shooting friends have encountered more. Flash holes are almost always punched, but tooling isn’t perfect, or it breaks and goes unnoticed. I actually look at all of them just to get it off my mind.

Don’t Seat a Bullet to Size Case Necks

At the least run all the cases through a die that will size the outside and inside of the case necks. I just use my normal-duty sizing die. That way, I’ve also set case-neck dimensions to what I decided on; that means performance results consistent to my later loadings on these cases. There is not, or sure should not be, any worry about setting the case shoulder back to a shorter dimension than the new case has, if (and only if) the sizing die was adjusted in accordance with the concepts and process I outlined in the past articles.

Chamfer the Inside of the Case Mouth

After sizing, the next required step is to put a chamfer on the inside of the case mouth. The outside won’t need chamfering, unless you’ve decided to trim the cases.

I trim all my new cases, even though it’s not really necessary. For me, it’s more about squaring the case mouth than about shortening length. They’ll be plenty short enough. Just as I use the sizing die, I trim to the usual setting on my case trimmer that I have for used cases.

By the way, this is a simple way to set trim-to length on a case trimmer: Adjust the cutter head inward until it just touches the case mouth all the way around. That will be suitable from there on. Trimming, however, is purely optional.

Now the cases are ready to load. But there’s more you can do to get top results.

Do Any Other Case-Prep Steps

Any additional case prep steps are best done right now when new brass is at its softest. Especially if you want to outside-turn case necks, new brass is notably easier to work with. The exception is that I wait until after the first firing to do any primer-pocket uniforming. New primer pockets are snug.

Speaking of that first firing… This is important. “Fire-forming” is a term usually associated with describing changing a cartridge from its parent or original state into another state, which is a non-standard cartridge, when it’s first-fired in the non-standard chamber. Like making an Ackley-Improved version of a standard cartridge, or converting a .250 Savage into a 6XC. In other words, the firing itself expands and reforms the case to the shape of the new chamber. But! All cases are fire-formed to the chamber they’re fired in. That’s a lot of what I’ve been addressing in the past few articles.

Segregate Special Brass

I segregate my brass for my tournament rounds, and I do that when it’s new. Criteria and means are another article, but the reason I mention that now is because I select my “600-yard” cases, “300-yard,” and “200-yard” cases at the beginning, looking for the best, better, and good cases, respectively, for the three distances.

I need to know which are which before I make the initial loading because brass has a memory. More technically, it’s a “shape-memory effect,” a property that is shared by some other alloys also. It expands and contracts in a consistent pattern during each use.

Do not first-fire cases using a lighter (less pressure) load unless you intend to continue to use that load. Fire-forming with a lighter load and then using a nearer-to-max load in that same case will result in premature failures in that case. It doesn’t seem to matter much going the other direction, but, for instance, I would never charge up my 600-yard load in a case formed using my 200-yard load; there are significant pressure differences in those two.

And don’t forget to get dimensional checks and records on your new cases!

About the only (reasonably affordable) new brass that I’ve used that doesn’t need any pre-firing help is Nosler Competition Brass, but I still size it to ensure I’m running the same neck dimensions, and ostensibly bullet retention levels as I will on subsequent uses. There’s processed and prepped once-fired out there available through many outlets, but I still suggest sizing it.
About the only (reasonably affordable) new brass that I’ve used that doesn’t need any pre-firing help is Nosler Competition Brass, but I still size it to ensure I’m running the same neck dimensions, and ostensibly bullet retention levels as I will on subsequent uses. There’s processed and prepped once-fired out there available through many outlets, but I still suggest sizing it.

 

 

 

Burris Launches New Online Ballistic Services

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Burris Optics has released a set of ballistic tools to use with its riflescopes.
Burris Optics has released a set of ballistic tools to use with its riflescopes.

Burris Optics has released a set of ballistic tools to use with its riflescopes, including free software, cartridge and bullet libraries to match to Burris reticles, elements to build a dope card, help in programming an Eliminator LaserScope, and the ability to order custom elevation and windage knobs.

Vice President of Sales and Product Development Patrick Beckett said, “We are a company full of hunters and shooters, and we built these tools knowing we would want to use them ourselves. We believe our passion for the shooting sports and our riflescope and ballistics expertise have created a set of tools that will help anyone become a better, more confident shooter.”

The centerpiece of the roll-out are bullet libraries that contain nearly 7,000 cartridges and bullets from every major ammunition and bullet manufacturer. Rimfire, centerfire, muzzleloader and shotgun shells are included, as well as G1 and G7 profiles (where available) for precise accuracy. Other specific elements include:

Burris Reticle Analysis Calculator

This tool allows a user to select ammunition and define exact environmental shooting conditions, such as altitude, humidity, wind speed, and more to deliver accurate aiming solutions for a Burris reticle at any distance. The results are customizable and printable.

Dope Card Builder

The Burris Dope Card Builder is a customizable solution for determining bullet performance at any distance and getting it on a physical print out.

Eliminator Programming Tool

The Burris Eliminator LaserScope can range a target, calculate holdover, and provide a wind value to help you estimate the correct wind hold-off, all based on the exact ammunition you choose. The Eliminator Programming Tool helps you determine the correct Drop Number and Ballistic Coefficient, and lets you fine-tune your results by adjusting for your actual shooting conditions.

Custom Knobs

Burris customers can now order custom elevation knobs for many Burris riflescopes so you can tune your favorite load and exact shooting conditions for a whitetail hunt or a 3 Gun match.

Click here to see our inventory of Burris products at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

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